Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Ghostly Girl at Rotherfield, Kent


Distance:            7 miles

Ghostly Rating        **

This walk involves little in the way of steep hills, though there are some lengthy gentle gradients that can be surprisingly bracing. Both Rotherfield and Mayfield are surprisingly busy places with much going on and a deal for the visitor to see. The countryside between is wooded and rolling with plenty of charming vistas to entertain the walker. The supernatural entities that might be encountered here represent the opposite extremes of the range in Sussex. One is pleasantly  gentle and inoffensive, while the other is evil in the extreme.

The Walk

1) Park in Rotherfield and find your way to the Kings Arms pub which stands on the junction of the B2100 and B2101 in the centre of the village, close to the church. 

This lovely old pub hit the local headlines in the 1950s when the ghost of a young child was seen and heard several times running around upstairs. The girl was heard more often than seen, her light footsteps seemed to run along the corridor and into one of the bedrooms. When she was seen, it was only for brief moments so descriptions tend to be rather vague. She is aged about 9 and wears a dress that reaches to her knees, and not much more can be said.

The downstairs area has been reported to be the home of an invisible spirit which taps patrons on the shoulder. When they turn around, of course, there is nobody there. This must be quite disconcerting but does nothing to detract from the pub’s well deserved popularity.

2) From the King’s Arms walk south along the village high street, the B2101. At the far end of the village the B road swings to the left, but the route of this walk goes straight on up a short hill beneath overhanging trees. This short section of the route is along a fairly busy lane, so care needs to be taken of passing traffic. Over the crest of the hill, ignore a lane to the left and continue straight on.

3) Just past Rotherhurst House on the left, the lane swings right. Take the turning that bears left downhill. After a mile a lane joins from the left. Ignore this turning, but take the second turning to the left which bears off very soon after the first.

4) At the end of this lane, turn left at a T-junction Follow this quiet, winding lane  until it emerges quite suddenly on to the main A267.  Cross this road with care and take the path that climbs up some steps, past a bench thoughtfully provided by the people of Mayfield for the use of passing walkers. At the top of the steps join a lane that continues running east. This lane joins a busier lane that becomes the main high street of Mayfield. About half a mile along the high street, the village church stands set back behind some shops on the left. It is dedicated to St Dunstan, and with good reason.

from Ghosthunter Walks in Sussex by Rupert Matthews

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